Contrary to Paul Naish’s article in the Mail on 31 March, there is nothing in EU law that prevents the UK from checking the language skills of doctors and nurses from elsewhere in the EU. There is no “new Brussels Directive against language checks”. Instead, proposed revisions to EU rules will make even clearer that all EU-qualified health professionals can be subject to checks before they take up a post. Far from EU law “taking precedence” over the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s plans to reinforce such checks, the European Commission has welcomed those plans.
Mark English, Head of Media
European Commission Representation in the UK
This letter was published, slightly edited, in the Daily Mail on 5 April (p.83). The newspaper did not contact the European Commission before publication. Commissioner Michel Barnier had already exploded this Euromyth in January.EU law does NOT mean UK hospitals have to employ people who do not speak English,